FUGITIVE art dealer Inigo Philbrick, who eluded authorities for months before turning up in the South Pacific, will be transported 8,400 miles to New York, where he faces charges that he defrauded collectors of more than $20 million in a Ponzi-like scheme.

Philbrick, who had galleries in London and Miami specializing in post-war and contemporary art, was arrested Thursday last week in the island nation of Vanuatu and turned over to US authorities. He was presented in court in Guam, a US territory, where he waived a hearing to determine his identity and was ordered into the custody of the US Marshals Service for transport to New York.

According to charges announced Friday by US Attorney Geoffrey Berman in Manhattan, Philbrick, 33, was “a serial swindler” who ripped off art collectors, investors and lenders by selling the same works multiple times to different parties between 2016 and 2019. He also sometimes used the works as collateral on loans without disclosing that others had ownership interests in them.

Philbrick disappeared in the wake of a slew of lawsuits filed in London, New York, and Miami, including by the billionaire Reuben brothers. Companies in Asia, Europe, and the US all have claims on various artworks handled by Philbrick. The case has roped in major auction houses and an art-finance firm linked to billionaire George Soros.

Among the artworks contested by investors is a $12.5 million painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, a Yayoi Kusama installation sold to the Saudi royal family, a 2010 untitled painting by Christopher Wool, and an untitled 2012 portrait of the artist Pablo Picasso by Rudolf Stingel.

The lawyer who represented Philbrick in his court appearance in Guam didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment. — Bloomberg